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Consent to let – What is it and why do I need it?

24th March 2022


If you’re thinking of renting out a property for the first time, you may need to obtain consent to let from your mortgage lender. Even if you’re confident you’ll still meet your payments, it’s essential to inform them to avoid potential penalties.

As you prepare your house or flat for property lettings, keep in mind the following information and make sure you’ve got all the right permissions in place before you proceed.

What is consent to let?

Consent to let is the written permission from your mortgage lender to let out your property under the existing mortgage.

You may also need to seek permission from:

  • Your housing association if you have shared ownership
  • All adults who may have occupancy rights e.g. your partner
  • The landlord’s insurance provider to ensure cover will remain in place

Why do I need to get consent when renting out a property?

If you’ve already got a buy-to-let mortgage then you don’t need to worry about consent to let.  Your lender already knows you intend to let out your property and has taken this into account when making their calculations.

However, if you’ve got a residential mortgage, a condition of your loan will be that you live in the property yourself. If you let out your home without permission from your lender then you are breaching your contract and could face fines and/or extra interest.

You have two options when renting out a property for the first time:

  • Switch to a buy-to-let mortgage
  • Get consent to let from your mortgage lender 

How do I get consent to let?

As soon as you’ve decided you want to let out your property, you should contact your mortgage lender directly. They will be able to discuss your options with you and help you through the process.

How much does consent to let cost?

Your mortgage lender could give their consent to let for free but you may be charged a fee. Another possibility is that they will increase your interest rate. They will take into account the type of mortgage you have, when it was taken out and if you owe any early repayment charges.

If you are charged a fee then it will be tax deductible.

Does consent to let expire?

Yes. If you get consent to let then it will be for a specified amount of time. You may be granted permission for 6 or 12 months, or it may last until the end of your fixed-term mortgage.

When your consent to let is due to run out, if you are still renting out a property you should get in touch with your lender and talk about your options. They might extend their consent or ask you to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage.

Does my lender have to grant consent to let?

Although most mortgage lenders are open to the idea of offering consent to let, you can’t assume it will definitely be granted. It’s also possible that you will get consent to let but with restrictions/only if you meet certain criteria:

If you’ve missed mortgage repayments then you may struggle to get consent

  • You might need to show evidence of a certain level of income
  • Your rental income may need to be enough to cover mortgage payments
  • You may need to have been with your lender for at least a minimum amount of time
  • The type of mortgage you currently have may affect the process e.g. Help to Buy and shared ownership mortgages usually do not allow you to let out the property

When gaining consent to let there are often conditions such as the length of the tenancy you can commit too and the type of tenants. It’s important that your estate agents are aware of these terms to enable them to find the right tenants for you.

What if I don’t get consent to let?

If you are refused consent to let then, in a nutshell, you can’t let out your property. If you go ahead anyway then you are likely to face penalties including additional interest and payments. 

Get more help

Whether you’re letting a flat or a large family home: Charters are here to help with every aspect of property lettings. Please pop into your local branch or get in touch and our friendly, knowledgeable team will be happy to answer all your questions.

Alternatively, If you have questions about consent to let, contact our financial services for advice here.

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